Troubleshooting 5 Commercial Deep Fryer Issues

Commercial deep fryers are one of the most important appliances utilized by commercial kitchens. If you own a restaurant, you need to have a perfectly running commercial deep fryer to meet the customer’s demands. However, considering their use, commercial deep fryers often run into problems. Apart from contacting a commercial appliances repair service when required, you need to be a step ahead by being familiar with troubleshooting tips. We will go through some common commercial deep fryer errors along with their fixes to help you get your business running back to normal in no time.

The Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit

Perhaps the most common error amongst commercial deep fryers is related to pilot light. In most cases, the pilot light is located in front of the commercial deep fryer and serves an important purpose. Considering the usage frequency of the deep fryer, it is quite common for the pilot lights to go out.

Plus, it is also due to food splatters, dirt, dust oil, etc. If your pilot light does not remain on, you will first need to clean it before relighting. Otherwise, there is a risk of a grease fire. Before you can do that, make sure the gas valve is turned off. Then, locate the pilot light hole.

Pilot lights are most often located in more or less the same area but may differ based on the make and model of the deep fryer. Grab a towel or a soft cloth along with a cleaning agent and remove the burner. Wipe away all the accumulation until you find it clean.

Furthermore, turning on or off the pilot light can also differ based on the commercial deep fryer. If you are having difficulty, you should go through the user manual. If the pilot light area is already clean, you need to check the drain valve, gas hose, orifices, etc.

Burners Not Lighting

Another common problem with commercial deep fryers is the burners not lighting. Then again, the burners are arranged in the same manner as most commercial deep fryers but may vary based on the type and food that is prepared. Generally, the burners are installed in a star manner and each burner is responsible for heating the oil inside.

With time, these burners tend to get clogged due to oil, grease dirt, etc. To fix this problem, you should thoroughly analyze the burners. If you have not cleaned the burners in some time, you will need to clean them. Use a soft brush to remove the stubborn accumulation.

You can try vinegar and baking soda mixture as a cleaning agent. However, keep in mind not to use harsh cleaning techniques as they could damage the burners. Once you are done cleaning the burners, let them dry for an hour or so, and then turn on the deep fryer to see if it works properly.

Additionally, make sure that your deep fryer receives professional maintenance as well. The employees cleaning the deep fryer at the end of the day is one thing but professional maintenance is another. Going through the deep fryer and inspecting it for any repairs or replacements is also included in professional maintenance.

Fryer Won’t Drain Properly

Draining the commercial deep fryer regularly is important to ensure a long lifespan. If the oil is not drained or changed regularly, grease and grime accumulation will take place which might influence the components inside. Plus, draining the fryer is also necessary for cleaning and maintenance.

More importantly, oil draining also helps prevent clogged burners, wear and tear, and corrosion. If you notice that the deep fryer is not draining, you will need to check the filter. Clean or replace the fryer filter if needed. At the same time, check the filtration pump to see if it is broken. If it is, you will need to contact a professional to replace it.

Fryer Temperature Won’t Hold

Temperature is the main factor when it comes to cooking or frying food. The commercial deep fryer needs to maintain its temperature to ensure the food preparation process goes smoothly. If the temperature remains too low, the food may come out to be oily. But too high temperature is not right as well. In this case, you may notice the food to get too hard from the outside, but still be improperly cooked from the inside.

To ensure the fryer is sustaining the temperature, you will need to check the thermostat and calibrate it, especially post-maintenance or service. If that does not turn out to be the case, you will need to check the wirings or the control knobs.

This issue is common in restaurant steamers as well. So, check the knob and wiring or let a commercial steamer repair Fairfax professional take a look at it.

Malfunctioning High Limit Switch

In addition to a faulty thermostat, a malfunctioning high-limit switch may also prevent the deep fryer from reaching its desired temperature. The high-limit switch monitors the temperature of the fryer and conveys this information to the thermostat, which then turns on or off the heating element based on the set temperature limits.

That said, a bad high-limit switch will not be able to monitor the temperature and will not be able to convey the information to the thermostat either. This can be a dangerous situation, as the temperature will keep going up causing the oil to burn let alone the food.

You can try resetting your commercial deep fryer. If this doesn’t work, then the only solution is to replace the high-limit switch. And, to prevent the issue from rising in the future again, you need to schedule professional maintenance.

Is Professional Maintenance Necessary?

Yes, professional maintenance stands at the top of the list when it comes to ensuring your deep fryer runs without any problems. Part of owning a restaurant entails that you have to meet the customer’s needs as quickly as possible without compromising the food quality.

Most restaurant owners believe that professional maintenance is just a hoax and that their employees can do better. While cleaning is one aspect, the inspection is another. Professional maintenance also involves going through the unit and taking a close look at the components for cracks, damages, repairs, and replacements.

Sometimes, the damage or crack might be so small but have a huge impact on the performance of the unit. The last thing you would want is the deep fryer to give up just when the customers have placed an order. This is where professional maintenance comes in and saves you the burden.

The expert not only cleans the unit inside out but also repairs or replaces any component that might seem fishy. This might seem like an expense but is an investment from a logical perspective. You are paying someone to spare you the unexpected troubles in return for money, which is a price you should be able to live with.


Commercial deep fryers are efficient and effective commercial kitchen appliances as long as they are looked after. The objective is to be aware of the common issues and their fixes to prevent unexpected and sudden complications. This helps keep the business running, especially during rush hours when you need your commercial deep fryer the most. However, when needed, consult deep fryer repair Northern VA experts.